Thursday, October 25, 2012

Where the heck have I been?

Hi everybody!  I cannot believe it's been 2 years since I last posted! :(  It has been a crazy 2 years filled with broken ankles, sorrow, failure, success, redemption and rollerskates.  Mind you not necessarily in that order.  I promise I will post a blog to fill you in on the last 2 years, but in the meantime, this post is dedicated to my assignment for W200 Chapter 7 check.  The ONLY person who will want to read this will be dear Dr. Spitzer (and really him "wanting to" might be stretching it a bit).  That being said, this is a great class and I am learning so much in it, and I am not saying that JUST because I want to suck up.  P.S. This is my 2nd time doing this & it will be way worse as I accidentally deleted the first when I was almost done & now I have little time left!!  So, on with ch. 7......

Problems Solving and Inquiry Learning with Software and Web Tools

If you thought you were going to get a lame outline on my blog, forgetaboutit.  We are going to blog this chapter 7 out.  We are in this together and I only have an hour, so it's going to be fast & nasty with a little bitterness (I told you I almost had it done!).

What is going on is Software.  Educational Software that can be web based tools for teacher, like I'd like to use one day...HOLLA!  There is System software (the stuff that runs the computer) & Application software (specific functions in special ways)  these might be the programs you get in Microsoft Office like; Excel, Word, PowerPoint... These are all "standard."  "Open source software" is free to the public to use, copy & recreate.  I am all about that, I used this for my crossword puzzle generator for another chapter check.  There are TONS of things out there, but the trick is to make sure they are legit & not going to make it so the teacher gets angry calls from parents.  Seriously, there is even online software to evaluate online software (for reals, check out EvaluTech).  Always ask yourself this when choosing software:  "Will the child program the computer or will the computer program the child?"  I just thought of that, how smart am I?  Ha, no the text book "Transforming Learning with New Technologies" by Malloy et al. quotes Papert saying that.  Whew!  Plagiarism avoided!  (FYI, I had to Google how to spell that.  Stupid i) Also, note all this info. comes from Malloy, except my witty on dites, of course.  

Okay, moving on (10:24 now),  there is higher order & lower order thinking.  That's all I am going to say about that, figure out which order of thinking THAT falls into!

Entertainment Software Rating Board.  Same as the music one?  Thanks Tipper Gore, who knew it would be so useful?  I just thought you were batshit crazy trying to sensor artists.  Am I off base on this?  Maybe, but the software rating board labels age groups to the software so teachers know if it's age appropriate or not.

Educational Software for Problem Solving and Inquiry Learning.  Composing& Calculating Software,  Excel & Word falls in this category.  Digital writing, may become a standard soon, who knows?  It would teach writing & communicating on web based mediums.

Creating Softwares, awesome!  Think of the skills legos & blocks teach kids, but in software that allow them to build & manipulate software?  Check out Kid Pix & Google Earth.  

Visual thinking & Concept Mapping Software.  Check out Kidspiration and Inspiration (like we did in class BAM).  Computer games as learning resources can be good & bad.  Certainly there are violent games out there that "numb" children to real life horrors.  On the other hand, there are good games that promote "virtual worlds of learning."  They develop another form of literacy.  (I think this is why my children are so smart).  There's math games, "House games, and digital games & virtual worlds.  Here are some strategies to use games with your students:

  • Minimize games the use minimal skills
  • scrutinize games that function solely on points won or loss
  • Discuss games & their content
  • Play together
Sorry this is so thin, but I have to turn in now!  :(  See you in class tomorrow

Wow.  I can't believe it's been 2 years since I posted on my blog.  How do you know how long it's been since last posting? When the whole site has changed and you realize your blog now looks sad and behind the times.  Well, I guess I better get on that, but first some things to do.

This blog entry is going to be devoted to my W200 class assignment of Ch. 7 Chapter check.  Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, but dear Dr. Spitzer is going to want to read this!  Although it is an excellent class and has taught me so much (and I am NOT just saying that because he is reading it right now).  But my long lost friends, if any of you are still out there, I promise I will follow this one with another that brings you up to date with me.  Am I still on track?  I wish I could tell you yes, but my tale is not as "Hollywood happy" as that.  But I promise it is filled with injury, struggle, defeat, recovery, strength and triumph.  So stay tuned, but for now....

Ch. 7 Problem Solving and Inquiry Learning With Software and Web Tools

Problem Solving and Inquiry learning begin with real world situations and issues to actively engage students.

Educational software refers to computer products and Web-based tools that are designed to promote students learning in schools and home.  Most educational software is sold as brand name products by computer software firms.

   To show how teachers can promote problem solving and inquiry learning using educational software, several types are examined, including composing and calculating software; building, inventing, and creating software; visual thinking and brainstorming software; computer games, virtual worlds, and digital games for learning; and intelligent tutoring systems.

Computers & Software

Hardware refers to the basic machinery and circuitry of a computer.  Software is the term for computer instructions, a collection of codes that tell a computer’s hardware to perform specific functions.  The two together make computer technologies work.

Types of Software

There are two main types of software:

System Software is responsible for the overall functioning  and control of a computer.  It includes the operating system, network operating system, database managers, and TP monitor.

Application Software performs specific functions in specialized ways to produce a variety of services, including word processing, databases, spreadsheets, slides and presentations, Internet browsing, email management, movie making, or DVD burning.

Standard Software Applications

Most likely your personal or school computer has the following standard software applications:

Word processing- Microsoft Word
Electronic databases- Microsoft Access
Spreadsheets- Microsoft Excel
Web-browsing software- Google Chrome
Communications software- Microsoft Outlook
Presentation software- Microsoft PowerPoint
Antivirus software- Norton
Specialized software- Adobe Dreamweaver

I have pretty much used all the above, with the exception of Dreamweaver.

Open Sources Software

"Open" for the public to use, copy, and recreate, usually at little or no cost.

Like the free crossword puzzle generator I used for another chapter check.

Choosing and Evaluating Educational Software

Okay, I am not an editing genius...yet, but this gives you the idea!

Criteria for Evaluating Educational Software

If you don't want angry parents or virused up computers, pay close attention.

Identifying good software is to be able to recognize bad software.

3 bad features of software:
  • the program, not the child, controls the activity
  • the game promotes competition, stereotyping or violence
  • the software favors quick reactions over  long-term thinking
First always ask yourself before buying software, "will the child program the computer or will the computer program the child?"

Online Software Selection Resources for Teachers

EvaluTech is a free online software review service for teachers sponsored by the Southern Regional Education Board.

  How I will use educational software for problem solving and inquiry learning

Composing and Calculating Software

Using software like MicroSoft's Word and Excel is the easiest, and most common way of using these types of software.  Digital writing is composing, covers not only writing on a computer instead of using pen or pencil, but writing for a website, communicating by email or instant messaging, contributing to a blog or a wiki, or expressing one's ideas through another technology-based communication outlet.

Building, Inventing, and Creating Software

Like hands on materials like Legos, blocks or dolls; building, inventing and creating software function in the same way. They provide students the same opportunities except using the computer as a medium.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

looking back

As the year comes to a close, one cannot help but look back and reflect over it's happenings.  I went through so many changes it is amazing to me.  A year ago at this time, I was struggling with knowing I needed to do something different in my nutrition, but not being sure as to what I WANTED to do.  I never saw myself as a vegetarian, let alone a vegan.  Yet I had a sense of a health crisis mounting against me.  I do not know why, I just absolutely knew in my heart that I was at a crossroads and if I didn't change something now, then later I would pay drastically.  You'd think that having this forewarning, I would have been eager to change my ways.  This is not the case however, and it was with a grudging attitude that I made my plans.  Like most things I do, I researched and used tools that presented themselves to me.  This came in the form of a high school classmate, Tess Challis, who wrote a beautiful, witty "how to become healthy" (which is vegan) recipe book.  The book is: Radiant Health, Inner Wealth by Quintessence Challis.  After much inner turmoil, and an admirable attempt by my sister-in-law's family to eat vegetarian for one month, I decided that it would not hurt me to dedicate 1 month to eating vegan.  Why did I go to the seemingly extreme of vegan?  Well, that was all part of my research.  I wanted to start all the way, and if I felt it wasn't worth it, I could add things back as I wanted.  I also included eliminating all unnatural ingredients and chose organic products.  Please understand, I ate (and lovingly enjoyed) all the bad foods one is warned against.  This was not easy for me and I am not someone known for my willpower.  I was going for total health, which included weight loss in my case.  It has now been almost a year since I've eaten meat and dairy.  I loved meat, i still do, but at this point in my life, I do not think I will eat it again.  Definitely not like I used to.  For me, the results of my one month commitment (that has lasted a year and counting) have been too conclusive.  Another book that I read months after starting my new way of eating, cemented in my mind that how I eat is the best for my health.  That book is: The China Study by T. Collin Campbell.  Not a book designed to start a diet fad that will earn the authors millions of money in a diet craze, but rather a book written by a research scientist who has devoted most of his life in the study of nutrition and it's effect on health.  He very simply tells you how to eradicate heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer growth.  I know the effect the vegan diet has had on my health.  I was once a slave to my allergies and often down with upper respiratory infections as well as hordes of "colds".  In this year, I have taken no antibiotics.  I have had 1 stomach flu, and have had 1 cold (just a couple weeks ago) that lasted only 3 days.  Hippocrates said "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food".  I find that this seems to be quite true.  I have had my failures this year, as well.  My finding out that Oreo cookies are "vegan" and potato chips and Fritos too, have made me understand that yes, there can be unhealthy ways to eat that still fall under vegan.  It is a continuous journey I am on.  I don't think there will ever be a moment that I cross a finish line and declare myself at the end of my total health quest.  But I am enjoying the trip and my success has out weighed my failings. Good luck to you on your journey, wherever it takes you.  Listen to your body always and you will not go wrong.  I wish you all happy Holidays and a wonderful and prosperous 2011.  Look for my blog on January 16th, which will be my 1 year anniversary!! :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

the whole darn menu!

Tomorrow I have a Dr.'s appointment and I'm hoping I get to be in a walking cast.  I'm not sure if this will happen or not, and rather than worry about it, I'd rather reflect on something more food!  Oh, yes.  The love of food has not gone away with my new eating lifestyle, but has evolved.  Gone are the days when I can sit down at a restaurant and order whatever I want.  Now, I'm lucky to get two or three actual meals to order and more often than not, have to have them alter a menu item to suit my needs.  Except in Chicago.  This summer (while I was on blog leave of absence) I took the South Shore into Chi town and visited my bestie from college.  We immediately went to dinner at The Chicago Diner.  It is a vegetarian/vegan restaurant that has been spotlighted on one of the many restaurant shows on The Food Network.  I'm not necessarily proud of what I'm going to tell you, but for the sake of honesty and understanding my true nature, I have to divulge the truth.  In the 3 days I was there, I ate at the restaurant 3 times.  Hahahahaha!  It's true, I swear.  I was so overcome by the ability to once again look at a menu and order whatever I wanted, that I had to do it.  Again and again.  Also, admittedly, it was a slight departure for my uber (I'm too lazy to try to find the little dots that are supposed to go over the "u" in uber....sorry) I ate a cinnamon roll that would make a Cinnabon lover cry.  Actually, I don't usually go for the real sweet stuff being a savory over sweet girl, however being the true rebel I am I did it because...well, because I could.  And we took home like three desserts to try too. So there!  Listen to  my rebel yell!!  Yikes!!   Excessive?  Definitely.  Worth it?  Well, that's for each of us to decide.  For me it shows a couple things.  One:  Just cause I've changed how I eat doesn't mean I've changed who I am.  I cannot be lulled in thinking I'm immune to unchecked rampant eating.  But knowing this makes me stronger and more guarded against it.  Possibly (I say this as I have no experience with the program) like the 12 step program....isn't admitting there is a problem half the battle?  I would say I definitely have a "more is better" problem.  Two:  Sometimes it's okay to be human.  I mean, right?  The pure joy I felt ordering from that menu was real.  I was so happy and felt like a restaurant loved me and cared about nutritional oddities that I could have cried.  It felt good and I was inspired by the creative offerings.  My favorite by far was the Radical Reuben.  (by the way, I had to look up how to spell that as I kept getting the red know spelling is not one of my strengths!).  Third:  In eating somewhat not healthy, it reminds me how great I feel when I do eat healthy, so that kind of reminder is a good thing!!  Anyway, long and short of it is I regret nothing, but I'm probably glad I don't live by it.  Man, but that Reuben really was awesome!  :)

I can't give an update on my weight until I get this stupid cast off.  I wish I would have checked before I broke my ankle when I was running 5 days a week...grrrrr.  However, I was told that I looked like I lost a lot of weight from some people I haven't seen since May, so let's hope that's true and not just people being encouraging to the chubby girl!!  Wish me luck for a walking cast!  Night all :)


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Living La Vegan Loca

Hi everyone!  Yep, it's really me, back from blogger oblivion!!  I cannot believe I haven't blogged since April. What have I been doing lately?  Am I still eating a plant based diet?  Kick back it's been a long summer....

First of  all, I am still living  la vegan loca.  Here's the cool part:  It's been almost 9 months now!  No slip ups.  No scoring a chicken leg and eating it behind the house.  I feel so much more comfortable about it now, especially the cooking.  I've gotten better ordering out as well.  It's amazing the difference between timidly asking what they have for vegans, as opposed to telling them what they can do for me.  I have paid way too much for poor vegan options for so long, that now I channel Gordon Ramsey and put my foot down now.  I am definitely in a routine in my meals.  I adapted this from the book "The Two Week Wellness Solution" by Tess Challis.  I find that this works for me.  My weight loss has slowed, but is steady I think.  The main thing is I feel I have achieved the healthy life style I was seeking.  My typical day goes like this:

Glass of water with fresh, organic lemon squeezed and 1 cup of whole, organic fruit.
If I'm still hungry, like after working out, I may follow up later with some cereal in almond milk.
For lunch I'll have soup and salad  or one of my many recipes (my favorites are from Tess Challis' books)
Dinner is stir fry or  beans.
I try to get 4 to 6 c. of veggies in a day.  Yes, I will even measure to be sure...that's how obsessed I am about it.  I try to keep 3 to 4 c. raw.

When I stick to this, my energy is high, I don't get ill and my body feels light.  I don't eat 100% perfect all the time.  I have a penchant for vegan smores by my favorite vegan, gluten free baker, Scarlet O'Cara.  I found her, as well as many awesome producers at the Purple Porch Co-op, although Cara has a stall at the Farmer's Market too.  Because of Purple Poch, I have been eating seasonally this year.

I quit writing in my blog after a particularly stressful end of school year.  I resolved to take the summer off, although I didn't realize it at first.  I kept thinking I was going to write but then I never felt like doing it.  I needed some down time.  May was getting a little too vegan junk foodish for me.  I was starting to notice an over all yukky feeling 'cause I wasn't eating enough of the right things.  June 3rd, I decided to start walking.  Up to this point I had incorporated no kind of exercise routine, but I knew I needed to.  I hooked up with some friends who had mapped out a walk that was approx. 4 miles that they walked every morning.  I went with them and did the walk and felt pretty exerted by the end.  Eventually, their lives got busy and stopped, but I kept going every day except the weekend.  By the end of June I could do the walk without breathing hard, so I kicked it up a notch.  I extended the walk to 5 miles.  I started to then add running.  Every day I walked, I strove to add more running than the time before.  By the end of August, I was walking 1 mile and running 4.  That is crazy for me!  I  got so good at it, that I could talk the whole time I breathing never got ragged.  It was in the mists of this exercise frenzy that I began to feel an itch to be even more active.  My sister-in-law had joined the South Bend Roller Derby, and it made me decide to join as well.  It appealed to that rebel, edgy side that I have lurking underneath my mini van driving, Stay-at-home-Mom, PTO President persona.  Little did I know this would be my exercise downfall.  I had been out doing it a couple times (learning- not the actual derby yet).  I am a decent skater, but I got my new wheels (sweet, red Reiddel Diablo's) and needed to break them in and get used to them.  I watched something on a roller derby site, where they recommend you wear them around the house as you do house work etc.  One day ( Mon. Aug. 30th) I was doing this.  I was on my cell phone & my dog was outside going nuts barking.  I couldn't see where she was and she has been known to follow and bark at walkers.  Without thinking (I was distracted), I forgot my skates and stepped out on the steps to my back porch.  All it took was that first step and I fell (did I mention how nice & rolly my skates are?).  My phone flew up in the air and hung up on who I was talking to and I landed on my left side and knew immediately that my ankle was broken.  After laying there a minute, I remember thinking maybe it's sprained?  Yeah, it was hanging and I could feel the bones sliding around.  Nope, definitely broke.  I tried to call my husband, no answer.  I tried to call my friend/neighbor, no answer.  I knew I couldn't crawl inside the pain was intense.  It was around 1:00 p.m. and my kids wouldn't get home until 2:30, so I was alone.  I had no choice; I called 911.  Long story short, I broke in several places my outside, right ankle bone and broke the inside one.  Both ligaments were torn and I fractured the back of my tibia.  A surgery to fix the bone with a plate and pins later, I am home.  Its been a little more than a month now, and I'm doing better.  Recovery has been long, tedious and depressing.  I cannot put any weight on my leg yet and I'm on crutches.  It looks like I'll be this way until November.  So now here I am and I'm back to just good eating.  Although, really my upper body has gotten a work out with the crutches!  I guess things happen for a reason and I've decided not to return to roller derby.  For no other reason than the recovery time and inconvenience of an injury like this, not to mention roller derby is quite dangerous and filled with injuries all the time.  Ah well.  I will have to find a different way to vent my impending mid-life crisis! :) 

So, that's living La Vegan loca.  I have funny stories in there...scenes from a shower, my trip to The Chicago Diner (before ankle break), I will catch you all up.  Hey, I've got a lot of time on my hands and you're my semi-captive audience.  Check back, more to come.

Monday, April 26, 2010

"You Paid How Much for Nettles?"

Okay, so I started off strong and have been fading out lately.  I can't believe the last time I wrote in my blog was April 5th!!!!!  Bad me.  Where do I begin?  I can't let you all miss a moment of my exciting world as a meat lover turned vegan (only said with a hint of sarcasm).  Where did I leave off?  Ahh, the composting.  Well I got my compost drum and my husband even put it together for me (very shocking since he told me to take it back)!  I still need to read the directions so I know what the heck I'm doing.  It has stuff in there, but I need to get some yard waste in there which would happen if I could ever work in my yard.  I fear this will be an on going theme in my blogging this summer.  Hey, it's not easy being green.  Had a big "duh" moment with my husband when he looked at me as I was making him answer questions to a quiz to find out which one is his dosha  (he's Kapha for anyone who knows what the heck I'm talking about and I'm Pitta) in Ayurveda, and he said: "I should have known you would be into weird things since you were an art major".  You think Rick?  I have ever been drawn to the left of center.  And he is not, so yeah we are an odd couple but balance each other out somewhat.  It's been a very stressful April.  HA!  As, I just wrote that I realized that our wedding anniversary is tomorrow.  It is 14 years of wedded bliss.  The year before last, we missed it altogether (both of us completely forgot) and didn't remember until May.  It's not that it's against out religion or anything to celebrate it, but we have been a couple for 21 years and forget that there was ever a time we weren't together.  It's true.  Sorry, Rick putting together my composting drum diverted me into reflecting on us!  I've had a lot of stress this month and had to deal with a lot of issues.  I'm unhappy to report I still have a salt craving during these times.  I wish I never realized that Fritos and potato chips are essentially vegan.  Notice I didn't say healthy.  So to distract myself from salty Frito badness, I got these homemade yummy, toasted sesame nori crisps.  I really want to figure out how to make them.  They are nori sheets, torn into "chips" and toasted with some oil, brown rice syrup, sesames, cayenne pepper (just a hint), nutmeg and salt.  I got them from a vendor at the Purple Porch Co-op that I joined.  ( Here's from their website: 
Welcome to the Purple Porch Cooperative (PPC), Michiana's online local food cooperative. The Purple Porch Co-op is a member owned food cooperative committed to growing a sustainable local economy. We connect people in Michiana who want local, organic or fair trade food with the local growers who produce it.

I love it!  I shop on line and then every Wed. I pick up the food and chit chat with the producers.  It's all organic veggies and fruit and the meat I get my family is grass fed and no hormones (that makes me feel a little better anyway).  There's a vegan & gluten free baker there, and she's awesome.  I stalk her goods and try to figure out how to do them on my own.  Hence, the nori crisps.  She's so nice though, she'd probably show me how to do it!!  The only thing is my friend's farm is a producer there.  One day she picked up my orders for me and noticed I had bought nettles from someone.  She made fun of me because apparently on their farm they have TONS of it growing all over and she never realized people use it.  She couldn't believe I paid $3 a bag.  Well, there you go.  I'm a city girl!!  So, Michelle don't be surprised if you see me wandering around your farm with long sleeves and rubber gloves (nettles sting) and a paper sack....just a warning ;).  Oh, there's a lot going on I have to fill you in on, but I'm so tired!!!  Oh, I'm still losing weight!  It's slower now than it had been, but steady.  I am now 225.  Getting there.  My clothes are what I notice.  It feels like more.  This is getting to be the weight I always stalled at and then gained back.  I can't wait to get past it and say: "nah nah!".  Also, I have not been ill since changing my lifestyle.  I came close twice, but managed to keep it away!  That's 3 months, and for someone who has allergies (although that's way better too) and 3 boys, that's a long time not getting sick. 

I promise I will write again soon, no more stress keeping me away.  Although, you were all probably saying it's safe to come out, Danielle hasn't been blogging!  Haha, I'm back!  It's not so safe anymore!!  I thought about stats as I used to do them and think that time is done.  I rarely have cravings anymore, my mood is better (except when I'm moody, lol) and my health is awesome.  Sigh.  We must keep on keeping on, and I'm entering a new  phase of my diet.  Stay's gonna rock!!  Goodnight all and be happy =)


Monday, April 5, 2010

First Eater Holiday

Technically this was my first "bigger" family eater holiday since becoming vegan.  I have run through a gambit of emotions that I've been reflecting on.  One thing is that I realize how exactly it's possible to be a chubby vegan.  There is a way to eat poorly and still adhere to being a plant based diet.  I experienced this as I was all busy preparing for Easter.  I really have to force myself to eat veggies.  I just don't naturally go for them, especially when I'm distracted.  I think I really noticed it because as I mentioned in my last post I was fighting off illness and maybe I was compromised by my low veggie consumption.  I was able to fight it off, I'm so amazed even my husband get it!  But as I got busy, I noticed my low veggie consumption and the high level of eating "junk" vegan food.  I'm getting better, but it's still a chore for me to get in the veggies...I don't know why.  I like them better now, but I still have to force myself to remember to get them in.  So anyway, potato chips are vegan.  I didn't say healthy, but there's definitely no meat or dairy in it.  I also found vegan donuts.  So like I said, you can be chubby as a vegan.  But eating that way causes a nasty chain reaction where you're caught in a web of constant hunger cause you're not eating nourishing food and you end up craving the junk that got you there in the first place.  One has to be ever vigilant, whether you're vegan or not.  I didn't have a hard time with the ham and foods that surrounded me.  I thought I would, but nope.  It smelled good, don't get me wrong, but I didn't want it.  We went to my Uncle's house, and one of my family members asked if I had to eat this way or could I eat meat for the occasion.  My first reaction is one of being indignant.  But I thought about it and it's an innocent question from someone who does not feel what I feel, think what I think or know what I know.  Yes, I CAN eat meat whenever I want, if I want.  But, No I cannot.  This is not a quick lose weight diet.  This is me now.  This is my lifestyle.  I thought about it and I chose it.  I do not want to eat meat now, not ever again.  I like meat, but I no longer find it a viable source of nutrition for me.  I'm done.  People have said they admire my will power.  But it really has nothing to do with that.  It takes me no more will power to not eat meat & dairy then it does for me not to throw recycling in the garbage.  I became used to it and am convicted it's the right thing for me to do, like recycling.  Do I have to recycle?  No, I could choose to throw it in the garbage can.  In fact it would be easier to do that instead of having two receptacles. But I know it's better for the environment so I choose to recycle.  Same with my eating habits.  Now lets move on to my not so noble side effect I've been having recently.  I have been greedy with my vegan treats with my meat eating family (except my kids who I'm trying to guide into a plant based diet).  As much as I'd like everyone to eat a plant based diet, I know that it's not feasible.  So it's been really hard when they eat my food beyond a taste.  Obviously, I bring dishes to share as my contribution, but for example I brought some vegan candy.  My father ate some and offered it to others!  They had a whole bowl full of their chocolates, but they had to eat mine too!  And it was 5 dollars for a bag!!  I know I should be encouraging and giving, but mostly I wanted to yell "get your carnivore paws off my treats old man!!!"  See?  Not so noble.  Oh, well I have to work on this.  No one's perfect after all.  And I can be rather territorial about my food.  Must be an instinctual response that I haven't evolved from fully! LOL.  Composting update- I have "asked" my husband if I can get a composting drum.  I decided that it would be the best method for me, despite cheaper ways of doing it.  It works faster (which appeals to my impatient nature) and it is more convenient for my yard.  I'll keep you updated, because big surprise my husband thinks it's dumb.  Let's check stats:

Hunger:  a little nutrition deprived hunger as I skimped on the veggies.
Mood:  pretty happy =)
Cravings:  No, except I found myself getting into a salty/sweet cycle of fat doom/
Health: I emerged victorious from fighting off the illnesses hanging about my house!!

Spring is here, and I couldn't be happier.  I will keep spring in my heart and embrace the ever changing needs of my body and mind as the season itself does.  Spring brings the promise of a better day,of a better me!  Be healthy my friends =)


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Say it with me: "Eating For Health"

Wow.  Whew!  I knew it was going to be a long week last week and I was right!  Kung Fu Vegan powers I'm fighting off illness ALL around me.  All 3 kids have been home sick with me.  Coughing, sneezing, snotting in my direction.  I have been trying to fight off illness.  I feel it there trying to take hold, but thus far unsuccessful.  I have been juicing over time.  Even my husband has been juicing for me!  It's little wonder I'm teetering on the brink of illness disaster.  Last week was stressful, but the kind I like.  I actually thrive on these kind of things.  Book Fair chaos, and it was huge too.  We had great sales and great events.  But Friday as we were closing up I noticed a cold sore on my lip starting.  Always a sign that my immune system is wearing down and I'm fighting something off.  Looking back over the week of eating, I'm not surprised.  I wasn't eating my 4 to 6 cups of veggies a day.  I was BARELY even eating breakfast, if at all.  Plus I had been eating out for lunch.  I had a cheese mishap one day.  I scrapped, but I'm sure I got some cheese in me.  So, hello cold sore!  I took that as my cue to catch up on my healthier way of eating and immediately got out the juicer.  Thank you Tess for your immune boosting recipes, cause I've been hitting them hard.  Nothing says Kung Fu to germs like garlic, ginger and a plethora of fruits and veggies.  So I felt better this weekend, even as my children started to drop like flies around me.  But, I still feel it hovering there..waiting.  I've been back to the plan, my modified diet from Tess' 2 week plan.  That is to say here's how I eat (and it's something that has become natural to me):  First thing in the a.m. a big glass of water with 1/2 to whole fresh squeezed lemon (I use my ancestral hand juicer).  Then I usually munch on 1 cup of whole fruit while I get my breakfast ready.  Breakfast varies with my mood.  This a.m. I had an organic flax & granola cereal with organic raisins thrown in with almond milk.  Then lunchtime I have 1 or 2 cups of veggies....somehow some way.  Usually raw, as that is how I prefer vegetables. But, again lunch consists of where my mood takes me.  I try and get another veggie in as a snack, but that just depends.  If I'm not hungry, I absolutely do not eat.  This has been a huge thing for me, and one that I still struggle with.  I know you should eat as consistently as possible, but I've been "listening" to my body and well, that's that.  If I'm not hungry, forget it.  Not listening to my body and blithely indulging in whatever food addiction I had has brought me to the sad state of health I HAD been in until this point.  I like now way better than then, so I will choose to listen this time around.  And besides, I am in no danger of starving or losing too much weight.  Really.  I could keep a small family alive on my fat for at least a season.  Anyway, I usually try to finish eating by 7 p.m. (usually...that didn't happen fair week) that way giving my liver time to do it's magic.  And I'm all about trying to be nice to my body now.  After years of abuse, I feel like I'm kissing a friend's butt that I have wronged somehow and has been mad at me.  You feel like orange juice?  Right away, no problem.  What?  You want asparagus?  I really don't care for that...oh, fine.  I'll eat it, but only because you keep reminding me of the time I ate food from 2 different fast food places in the same meal.  (yes, that is a true, sad story.....much darkness lies in my past! lol).  So, yeah.  That's what's going on.  Eating for health.  What a great mantra or me.  I've also been taking care of business in my yard.  I pruned this poor apple tree that I swear NEVER had a thing done to it.  Now, I want to coax it into baring lots of nice fruit for me organically.  Wish me luck, I have NO idea what I'm doing.  Thank God for the internet.  Also, I started to compost in the kitchen.  A friend (Thank you Tonya if you're reading this!!) gave me an extra kitchen composting canister that she had at her house not using.  Now I can plan my garden.  This is all new stuff that normally would make me shut down and not be able to do out of fear of failing (wow, I never realized this about I know where my son Owen gets it from) but I keep pep talking myself into doing it.  Who cares if I do it wrong, right?  The police won't come out and ticket me for the improper placement of carrots in my garden.  I just always want to know everything about what I'm doing and do it perfectly right the first time.  It's a madness, I realize that.  For me, I don't enjoy the learning process.  It would be so much easier if I could go see Lawrence Fishburn on "The Matrix" and learn by them downloading the info. in my head.  So, me being me, has to go crazy.  Do I start small and say master composting?  Oh, no.  I have to try: composting, gardening (organic), holistic medicines, food as medicine, making kombucha, making tofu, change my diet, change my activity levels, and change my life.  That's it.  Just that.  There is something wrong with me.  Now, I feel like I have to go because I should be reading a "how to" book or something.  Good grief.  At least I have great people around me and supporting me.  You are all awesome and I wish you nothing but the best life can bring you.  Let's do stats:

Hunger:  I had a bit of a hunger thing going on.  Not sure why.  I doubled up on veggies, because I noticed I have unspecific cravings when I don't eat as healthy.
Mood:  Better now.  Spring Break is about to start and it's beautiful out!
Cravings: Nothing specific, just hungry, but not knowing for what.
Health: Precarious.  Trying to fight off illness with all the arsenal at my disposal.

Sorry, it's been a while.  I wasn't at my best for writing last week and didn't want to subject you all  to ranting about book fairs and poodle skirts.  Don't ask!!  I'm back at it and am sure I will have many misadventures and hopefully victories to blog about.  Thank you.  Have a great night.  Be happy =)